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Ecuador Launches PR Offensive in Wake of Snowden Offer

Ecuador, which was posed to lose trade breaks with the U.S. after it offered a temporary travel document to fugitive Edward Snowden, has hired Van Scoyoc Assocs. to patch things up in D.C.

The South American nation has agreed to pay VSA $300K a-month through the end of the year under a contract that went into effect July 9.

The agreement calls for VSA to research and analyze issues regarding bi-lateral dialog, foreign affairs, trade, economic development, migration and security/defense.

The pact says VSA will provide the Washington Embassy counsel on where Ecuador has a “direct interest or need for advocacy and consulting assistance.”

At first, Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa said he was “not a least bit concerned” about losing trade breaks under the Andean Trade Promotion & Drug Eradication Act” that support 320K jobs in his nation.

That remark triggered a promise from New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, to kill Ecuador’s trade deal that expires the end of the month.

Ecuador has since had second thoughts about its “stand tall” strategy.

Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua say they will accept Snowden, the former Booz Allen Hamilton infrastructure specialist who remains holed up in Moscow’s airport.

Meanwhile, Andy Levine’s Development Counsellors International shop in New York has a pre-Snowden pact with Ecuador’s Ministry of Tourism.

It began Jan. 2 and earned DCI $98,205 in fees through March.

By Kevin McCauley-O’Dwyers, July 16, 2013

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